highly active people- how do eat to fuel your activities/sport?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I am very active, playing club soccer 4-5 days a week, weight training 3 days a week, and swimming, running, or spinning 5 days a week. I walk most places too. So I'm basically on moving non-stop except for classes. Right now I'm eating 2 large paleo meals a day- the first at around noon and the second at around 7 or 8PM. I take a whey protein shake when I'm doing weight training and also sometimes before soccer practice. However, some days I end up not completely digesting lunch and then feeling a little bad during soccer matches/practice because I feel like I still have some food sloshing around in my stomach.

So, for those of you are very active on a daily basis, how do you prevent eating too much while still having energy for high intensity activities?

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4 Answers



on November 23, 2012
at 05:01 PM

When I workout in the afternoon, I eat most of my calories before noon. I do breakfast at 630am, a large snack at 930am and then lunch at 1130. I typically run around 3pm or in the morning before breakfast. I never have any problems with this schedule. I never feel heavy or get cramps.

I used to get cramps or a stomach ache if I ate less than a couple hours before working out. I slowly started adding snacks just before workingout and have been able to adjust to eating before working out. I began having some fruit before a workout and now I can have a full meal before working out without it bothering me. I can actually even eat as much as I want while running without it upsetting my stomach. I do not do this regularly, but if my schedule forces me to eat then run, I can do it without a problem.


on November 23, 2012
at 08:07 PM

IMHO you should NOT be trying to restrict (or trying not to eat too much) if you are that active. Try calculating your total daily energy expenditure on one of the numeroud calorie calculators using VERY ACTiVE as your activity level. You need to eat according to your energy expenditure if you don't want to crash and burn. Eating just 2 times a day may make it terribly hard for you to eat enough to support your activity. Even though fasting and infrequent eating are en vogue these days, they are perhaps incompatible with your lifestyle.

Recently I had a bit of crash and burn. I stopped the infrequent meal thing, calculated my total daily energy expenditure, found it was 2 times the number of calories I was consuming, started tracking my food to get used to what this increase in food would look like, determined that there is NO way I could match my energy in with my energy out by eating just twice a day, started eating several times a day, started feeling awesome, started performing better, etc.

In summary, try smaller more frequent meals and take in enough calories to support your activity level.

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on November 23, 2012
at 07:33 PM

maybe try making calorie dense smoothies. they would require a lot less digestion energy, can be pretty cheap and nutritionally dense, and are very easy to prepare.


on November 23, 2012
at 06:36 PM

lots and lots of potatoes in the evenings/late afternoons. and when I say a lot I mean like 20 lbs a week. I can handle them pretty well around dinner time and am still able to fast for 20 hours easily.

I try to be in a fasted state for at least 16 hours before workouts. I feel more aggressive and laced with energy when I'm on an empty stomach.

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